Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ganja, Crack, Heroin? Not For Me

Hollywood glamorizes drugs. In the movies that feature drugs, they portray a cool image of Mexican, Colombian and Jamaican drug barons snorting coke and smoking marijuana and injecting themselves with crack cocaine. But the reality, is that drugs are not glamorous. Drugs will mess you up. If they don’t mess you up, they will lead you into a life of crime to feed the habit. And once you have passed those two stages, drugs will eventually kill you.    

In Kabalagala, there is a reggae bar near the junction that heads down the Kikubamutwe slum. The bar plays a ballistic selection of reggae music and at first glance, it is decent enough and the dreadlocked patrons are harmless enough. However, at the back, there is a ‘VIP wing’, where the smokers go. But Smoker does not go there to smoke Sportsman or Dunhill. Smoker goes there to smoke the real deal – marijuana and more.

On this occasion, Smoker who barely looked eighteen years-old, after snorting a line of coke, started frothing at the mouth and nose and eventually collapsed in a heap. Fearing for the worst least it becomes a police matter, other smokers quickly left the bar. What eventually happened to him I have yet to find out.

In my first year at university in England, campus was awash with drugs. You could buy anything from cocaine to LSD, ecstasy pills to Moroccan black and heroin. My neighbour Rachael Moss was a squeaky clean girl who came from a good family in XXXXX. Basically she was the girl next door.

Alas she fell into the wrong crowd, the crowd that glamorised drugs. By the time she was through with the first year, she had graduated from smoking a marijuana joint to injecting herself with cocaine between her toes. She did that because having needle marks on her arm would have easily identified her as a cocaine addict. By doing it in between her toes where nobody would venture to look, she could get away with it. Suffice to say that midway during her second year she had a run in with the police and we never saw her again.

Tamara who was two years ahead of me was streetwise. She too was into drugs but kept it at smoking the odd joint here and there. Every now and again when I was in her room, she would offer me a joint which I would turn down. She never forced or pushed me and while I did smoke cigarettes, the idea of doing a joint didn’t really appeal to me.

On one occasion and unknown to me, in a cake that she was baking, Tamara laced it with drugs and invited a few people to her room. It was a cheese cake and I ate three slices as well as drinking beer.

When I thought I was getting drunk, I wasn’t. I started to hallucinate and simple tasks became difficult to perform. I couldn’t even remember how to pour my beer into the glass. It became a task as complex as trying to get the answer to a mathematical calculation that had failed Einstein.

When I got into bed that night, rather than having a sound sleep, the bed ‘flew’ – much like the bed flew in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. If my bed was not flying, at one point I was chatting with the grim reaper or I was in a dark cave with vampires and bats. To drug addicts, they term that period ‘tripping’.

While drug addicts will claim it makes them feel relaxed and gay, the reality is, is that it is messing up your life. It is that downward spiral to hell. If you have just started out on drugs, get out now before it is too late unless you want to wind up dead.